Russell Martin wraps up a season to forget at Norwich City with Auld Enemy clash
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich captain Russell Martin has one more massive date in his football calendar before closing the book on a season to forget.
Martin and club mate Steven Naismith are back in training with the Scottish squad for Saturday’s World Cup crunch with England at Hampden Park.
The 31-year-old has already spoken to his new club boss, Daniel Farke, and the defender is determined to play a big part in the Canaries’ fightback.
“Next season for me, it is a clean slate. I feel like we have wasted a season,” he said. “The club has changed structure and that needs to filter down. We still have a core here of really good footballers. Maybe it needed a season like this to reassess and see where it needs to go and what it stands for, what it is about. You can’t have infinite success or bounce up and down.
“This season has bought the club some time and if we can get to the Premier League we can stay there. It is a wake up call. It is not nice or enjoyable but we need to go back to having fun and create a Norwich team the fans want to see.
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“I’d have wished I was coming back for pre-season now. I needed a break physically but I have a big game coming up with Scotland.”
Martin lost some good friends inside the City dressing room with the departures of John Ruddy and six senior players at the end of the campaign.
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“It has probably needed trimming to be honest. We have lads here who for the past two or three years have not been near it,” he said. “Whether it is from a financial point of view or keeping players happy and hungry if you have a squad of 27 or 28 and you are having to drop 15 or 16 players every week it is difficult. Having a smaller squad helps that, it allows you to bring the younger players through, which should be the aim at this football club. That is what fans want to see. There should be changes but from what we have been told as players about the new identity and the way they want to play it is exciting. The lads here want to be a part of that.
“People have gone, more people will go and there might not be as many coming in but the ones who do will be hungry. That is the road they want to go down; probably similar to the recruitment under Paul Lambert the year before we got to the Premier League. We have a good core of players. If the new lads can come in and help that we’ll be fine.”